Brookside Gardens: The Gude Japanese Garden

Japanese gardens often provide a wonderful mix of colors and textures. The Gude Japanese Garden at Brookside Gardens, Silver Spring is no exception with its bamboo, dogwoods and a Japanese tea house. Taken on a midsummer’s day the different flora and garden design elements give the viewer a great level of depth.

The Gude Japanese Garden

Construction of the Gude Garden began in 1972 as a memorial to a prominent local nurseryman Adolph Gude, Sr. It sits at the far end of the Brookside Gardens site, with its subtly rolling hills and cool clear ponds. The beautiful Japanese Tea House forms the centerpiece among the dogwoods, maples, bamboo and unusual conifers. The tea house is reached via a mix of bridges and stepping stones which add to the overall feel of this part of the gardens. Nearby a labyrinth is marked out in the lawn, which complements nicely the calm of the tea house. On this hot summers day, the view across the pond to the shaded tea house is deceptively cooling. My wife sits in the shade of the tea house avoiding the worst of the sun’s glare. The different textures of the reeds, water, trees and wooden tea housework together to give the image considerable depth. The tea house itself sits on a small island and is reached by small bridges or by stepping stone paths. The seeming tranquility of the image hides the busy reality of the scene. The pond is teeming with fish, dragonflies buzz around the reeds and turtles sun themselves on logs. Ducks are ubiquitous sharing the water with blue herons and turtles. During this time of year, the gardens are also bustling with visitors enjoying the gardens.

Photographic Details

The image is a five exposure HDR composite taken on a Sony A7r at 0.7 intervals. The raw images were then lightly processed in Photomatix and Adobe LightRoom.

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